GOP congressman attacks poor people for wanting health care


Poor people who want health care are 'voting for a living instead of working for a living,' said Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham.

Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA) was caught on an audio recording attacking poor people who get health care coverage through the Medicaid program.

Poor people care more about "voting for a living instead of working for a living," the congressman said in audio captured at a March 19 fundraiser in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

"If they're on that program of the government — and it could be a state or a federal program — what are they going to do? They're going to vote to keep that program going," he added.

As participants paid $250 per plate for the luncheon, Abraham rambled on about Medicaid in response to a question from an attendee. At the same event, Abraham falsely claimed that the expansion of Medicaid to the state "mandated" that people drop their private insurance plans.

Abraham's comments, which were made behind closed doors amongst allies and supporters, betray the truth behind Republican actions. Instead of viewing Americans depending on Medicaid for health care as citizens facing hardship who need help, Abraham attacked them for "voting for a living" instead of working.

The Kaiser Family Foundation found in a study that Medicaid expansion led to "sharp declines in uninsured rates among the low-income population" and "significant coverage gains" for families, especially poor ones.

Even conservative states who opposed expansion have begun to change their position after voters demanded they do so.

Like most Republicans, Abraham has been a longtime opponent of Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion that has been key to the program expanding health care access to millions of Americans.

He voted along with the majority of Republicans in the House in 2017 to repeal the program, which would have led to 24 million Americans losing coverage, including for some pre-existing conditions.

Last November millions of Americans punished Abraham's party for their cruel approach and put Democrats back in control of the House.

Republicans have repeatedly opposed health care reform, standing up against Obamacare's passage, challenging it in court and pushing to repeal it in Congress. It is a vote to hurt.

But they have repeatedly failed because the vast majority of American voters are not as cold-hearted as Rep. Abraham and his party.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.